Linette gets that Christmas morning feeling and a girl crush…or does she?

“I have a confession to make. I have a bit of a girl crush on Alex Polizzi…, not like that, put away your filthy minds….I mean I’d like to be her friend, hang out with her a bit, I think she’s really cool”.





Sooo Dizappointed 

A highly successful business woman and broadcaster, from a long line of  Forte family hoteliers, she is generally seen on TV fixing broken businesses, picking chefs and dragging failing hotels up to scratch.  Polizzi knows what she is talking about.  She’s a strong yet still super feminine woman, men swoon over her and women like me would like to go out for cocktails with her to chat business and Italian shoes.  She genuinely cares about what she does, she has exacting standards and an eye for detail.  She’s up there with the character Terence Fletcher in the excellent film ‘Whiplash’ who won’t accept a ‘good job’ effort….you have to do the very best you can.  The general premise of one of her TV shows will be along the lines of: ‘Hotel A’ is failing, the staff are surly, the décor dated and the owner uncooperative.  She gradually wins the owner round using both carrot and stick and brings in her team to give ‘Hotel A’ a makeover.  She leaves the hotel owner and staff to it for a couple of weeks, during which time they either run with it and elevate ‘Hotel A’ to five star level…….or it all goes to pot, the owner chucks his toys out, the menu is not adhered to and the staff slump back into a teenage sulk.  Alex then returns and, if the scenario is the latter one, she fixes the owner with big, brown eyes full of upset and anger, folds her arms and utters the words ‘dahling, I am sooo dizappointed’.  I know how she feels.


Make Or Break

There is a make or break moment, whether you are going back to a project to see whether the people you handed it over to have created something beautiful or made a dog’s dinner out of it, whether you are a kid waiting to open their Christmas presents or whether you have just taken delivery of a piece of hifi that you have saved up for ages to buy.  That moment full of anticipation and excitement, just before the point when it will go either way….elation or

How do you feel when you are waiting for your latest hifi purchase to arrive?  I’m guessing that you feel like a kid before Christmas, I know that I do.  There is an unexplainable mixture of longing, excitement, trepidation and fear.  Will it be right, will I like it, have I just blown all my savings on a piece of rubbish?  Like that kid wondering if the box is going to contain the latest toy or gadget that they have been dreaming of….or have your parents got it totally wrong and got you exactly what you didn’t want?  Picture the scene.  The delivery van pulls up, a large and possibly heavy box is passed over to you, it’s the amplifier/DAC/loudspeakers/CD transport/turntable/headphones that you have saved up for and can’t wait to get hold of, it’s had great reviews, you heard it at a show…it is a true object of desire.  You carefully open the outer box, inside is some random packaging, its well protected but looks a bit like you bought it second hand off ebay, not box fresh from the dealer.  You fish around and there’s the instructions, crudely printed on white A4, there’s the remote, nasty and plasticky, or a budget set of cables, the main event itself is in a cheap plastic bag…’ve come over all ‘Polizzi’, disappointment is not what you were expecting.  Those first moments of connecting with your new purchase set the tone for what’s to come next, no matter how great it sounds when you actually get it into your system; you have that feeling that you have been cheated out of something.


Getting It Right

Let’s rewind.  Here comes the delivery van, bring the box in, open it up and cue the hallelujah chorus, angels singing, cherubs flying about, golden sunbeams parting the clouds……you get the picture.  You pull out the inner box, it’s beautifully designed, emblazoned, discreetly, with the manufacturers logo, it’s all touchy feely and stroke-able.  Opening this box reveals a bespoke bag, or crunchy fresh tissue paper, again branded, containing the product itself, nestled around that are the high quality remote, the connectors, the bound handbook etc, everything where it should be, lovingly packaged….it all just looks and feels so pleasing, so perfect, you haven’t even listened to anything yet but already you are smiling.  Its Christmas morning, you’re the happy kid with the eagle eyed Action Man rather than the itchy knitted jumper.  You’re Alex Polizzi when she revisits the hotel to find her carefully thought out menu is still available in the restaurant and that the owner has not put the flock wallpaper back over her minimally painted reception area walls.  You are happy and content.

You Deserve It 

If you are paying a large amount of money for something (and that amount is different for different people) it should be right.  If you buy a watch or jewellery or a new car, or nice clothes or a beautiful handbag, the whole unwrapping experience is part of the event.  You are treating yourself and you want that Christmas morning effect, you deserve it.  Why should hifi be any different, why would we accept forking out serious amounts of cash and not get that Christmas feeling?  I’m not talking about dressing up a bad or low quality product with fancy wrapping and an ad’ campaign to make everyone buy it, the sound and quality of the product is key, but what goes with it is also important.

The Whole Experience

With the way the hifi market is changing, its not just old time audiophiles buying the hifi of today, there is a more discerning customer who is used to buying luxury goods and who expect their hifi, which is a luxury product, to come up to certain standards where accessories and packaging are concerned.  The brands need to make sure they are offering the whole experience. Some of them already do…..others have a long way to catch up.  ‘But’ you say ‘that’s easy for the big brands, what about the little guys?’ Yes, bigger brands tend to have deeper pockets and bigger budgets but, there are a lot of smaller, newer brands that are putting the care and consideration into how their products look, feel and are presented, right from the start.  Whether you are a big, established hifi brand or a smaller newcomer, give your customer that Christmas morning feeling every time they buy from you….and they will keep coming back.

Linette SmithBIRDSSPONSOR600X74


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